11.04.2015

ROADLOG: THE SHAME TRAIN TO HOLLAND



ROADLOG: THE SHAME TRAIN TO HOLLAND
10/31
Greg & I flew out of Nola.
Made the jump to Dulles/DC.
What a nutty airport Dulles is. 
Those jacked-up, monster truck
"mobile lounge buses."
Who's idea was THAT?
Fittingly it's located in DC. 
Next. 
Had Uneventful flight to Paris.
I popped a Benadryl
And slept on plane. 
Greg didn't sleep a wink.
And instead geeked out on movies 
And video games in the seat console.  
When we landed he was frazzled. 
Looked like the Cookie Monster 
In a wind tunnel. 
We grabbed bags & gear
And proceeded to zig zag our way
On trains
Through Paris,
Which is an odd challenge 
If you don't know the trains well,
Which we do not. 
After hitting a dead end of sorts
While switching trains,
We cabbed the rest of the way
To the northwest Paris suburb
Where we are staying
At Kent's (bass) GF's mother's apt. 
Mom's out of town. 
So we can crash there one day. 
Then we got to roll. 
We arrive.
Make small talk.
Sleep for a few hours. 
When we wake,
We research a plan
For Greg & I to get from 
Paris to Sittard, Holland
Where we'll stay for a few days
With my longtime friend & road manager Bjorn. 
I didn't plan this part of the trip out. 
For shorter, 5 hr jumps, like this,
My plan is always:
"We'll figure it out."
I'm not a big fan of over-planning,
Because no matter how much 
Planning one does 
Things are likely going to go to shit
At some point or another.
And when one under-plans
Certain elements of a tour
And leaves the possibilities open 
To whatever the universe is serving up
On that particular day,
You're not as pissed off
When things do indeed 
Go to shit. 
It's like, "Uh, we kind of had this coming.
No big deal. Move on."
Just as often nothing goes wrong
In those under-planned treks,
And you end up pleasantly surprised
At your crew's ability to improvise 
And adapt to a wide variety 
Of absurdly ridiculous challenges. 
If nothing else, 
It gives everyone 
The opportunity to high-5.
So....
Back to our goal
Of getting from Paris 
To our destination 5 hr north
In Holland. 
It becomes apparent that
Every means of transport 
(Plane, train, rental car)
For this trek 
Is uselessly expensive ($250-500)
Just for the two of us. 
(Kent is meeting us later in week).
Somebody mentions the possibility 
Of taking a bus. 
A bus?
"Europe has buses?"
Not a bad idea. 
It's one I hadn't considered. 
When you're in Europe 
You don't really think 
In terms of buses. 
Your mind tends to gravitate
Toward more romantic means
Of travel.
Even boats & ferries
Register before buses. 
After a quick internet search. 
We discover it'll only cost $100
To get me, Greg, & gear 
to our destination 
In holland. 
Very nice!
A bus it shall be. 
We purchase the tickets online
To depart early the next morning. 
With that done,
We head into the Halloween streets of Paris
To drink and explore.
At one point
We pass the location of the former Bastille. 
Europe is good for that kind of thing. 
"Hey, we're getting drunk on the site
Where hundreds, maybe thousands 
Of people
Had their heads cut off."
Happy Halloween. 
Around 2 am
We head back to apt.
I don't sleep at all
So I read. 
Greg snores away in the couch
Playing catch-up on the sleep
He did not get on the plane. 
Next morning.
Greg and I cab
Across Paris to the bus station,
Streaming past miles of graffiti.
The Tarot card walls of Paris.
Paris loves graffiti. 
We Arrive
With minimal hassle
We find our bus and load-in.
Bus driver is cool.
He nods at the guitars,
Gives us no hassle
About all the gear,
And mumbles something about 
Rock & roll.
"Oui, Oui," I reply.
Eyebrows scrambling.  
15 min later 
We're crashed out like dead men,
Sprawled across the seats,
Feet tangled in the aisle,
And rolling onward. 
Dreaming.
Fuck a plane.
We're on the Shame Train to Holland.

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